Forestry Investments – A Review of Timber Investments for Retail Investors

We all use timber on a daily basis, in our houses, our furniture, our floors and our roofing, and institutional investors, hedge funds and pension funds have been investing in timber as a long-term growth asset and inflation hedge for decades. However, as more investors discover the little-known fact that timber investments have generally outperformed stocks, bonds, and commodities over the long run, there are now many opportunities for the smaller investor to participate in this alternative asset class.

The demand for timber is growing in line with an ever-expanding population, as the human race multiplies in number we require more timber for construction, yet at the same time, fundamental limits to the supply of natural forests limit the amount of timber we can grow and harvest for our own use.

Deforestation has destroyed 1/5th of the world’s forests since 1950, and new global legislation is in place to protect the forests that remain as they play a vital role in carbon sequestration and the ecosystem.

This imbalance between supply and demand creates an outstanding opportunity for investors to acquire assets in short supply and profit from undeniable fundamental trends of population growth and resource scarcity.

Investment Performance

The vast majority of return on investment generated by timber is derived from the biological growth in size of the timber source, from seedling to sapling to fully fledged tree. On average, a single tree’s volume of wood will increase by between 2% and 8% every year depending on species, age and climate. On a very basic level, this gives the tree owner more timber to sell as time passes, and hence generates a greater return in the long-term.

Aside from this basic observation there is more to consider, as trees yield a greater sale price when they grow into bigger product classes. As an example, a small tree would only be suitable for paper products or biomass for fuel, where a larger tree can be harvested for sawn-timber which will fetch dramatically higher prices per tonne and can be used for products such as plywood or telephone poles.

A study by Professor John Caulfield of the University of Georgia found that biological growth counts for more than 60% of total financial returns, whilst increases in the price of timber, and capital appreciation of the land account for the remainder of returns generated from a timber plantation.

This goes to show that it is an effective strategy to lease land on which to grow timber, as well as purchase outright as only 6% of profits are derived from capital appreciation in the value of the land. This also shows that fluctuations in the price per cubic metre or tonne of timber have limited influence on the overall performance of timber investments. The majority of return is generated from the growth in the size of the tree itself.

The standard benchmark for timber is The NCREIF Timberland Index, which increased 18.4% in 2007, versus a 5.5% rise for the S&P 500. In the long-term, the Timberland Index has outperformed all major asset classes including, large-cap stocks, International equities and corporate bonds.

Whilst small-cap equities have outperformed timber in the long-term, after factoring in risk (as reflected in the Sharpe Ratio), timber has exhibited the highest risk-adjusted returns of any major asset class. When compared to the S&P 500, timber has displayed a low risk characteristic. Since its 1987 inception, the NCREIF Timberland Index has fallen in only one year: – 5.25% in 2001, at the same time, the S&P 500 has fallen four times, including -22.10% in 2002.

One of the main reasons investors, especially large institutional investors, turn to timber, is the fact that the asset displays low to zero correlation with other assets, especially those linked to financial markets. It has been demonstrated over a long period of time that adding timber to a portfolio of investments has the effect of improving overall risk-adjusted returns. This low correlation reflects the fact that the primary driver of returns-biological growth-is unaffected by economic cycles.

Institutional Investor in Timber

In 2007, Jeremy Grantham, Chairman of Grantham Mayo and Van Otterloo, a Boston-based firm that oversees $60bn in assets, predicted the impending financial crisis, one of very few Investment Managers to do so.

At a conference in June 2007 Mr. Grantham announced that equities were overpriced to such an extent that the market was as risky as he has ever seen it. “The next few calendar years,” he warned, “look like a black hole as overpriced markets, dangerous leverage and a gigantic hedge-fund business collide with the house-building phase of the US presidential cycle, plus the contraction phase of a long interest cycle.” His prediction? He said he could see the Standard & Poor’s index falling 38% over the next two years.

He went on to say that Investors should allocate capital to timber investments as a stable and predictable asset with a low risk profile where returns are generated outside of any market. It is the only asset class in existence that has gone up in three out of the four major market collapses of the 20th century. It should be noted that Jeremy Grantham holds 20% of his personal investment portfolio in timber assets.

Institutional investors have recognised the benefits of timber investments for some time, Pension funds such as Calpers, led the way in the 1980s, however it was the big university endowment funds such as Harvard and Yale that saw the true potential and invested heavily in a move to diversify their portfolios globally. In 2009 the Harvard Endowment Fund invested $500m in forestry and carbon credits in New Zealand.

PKA, the DKK 114bn (€15.4 bn) Danish collective pension scheme for employees in the public social and health sectors, raised its forestry investments to about €335m by the end of 2007, raising its commitment to timber from 1.5 to 2% of total assets.

ABP, the €211bn Dutch pension fund made its first timber investment in 2007 with a $60m (€40m) allocation to the Global Solidarity Forest Fund (GSFF), which will develop three sustainable forestry projects in the Republic of Mozambique, in south-eastern Africa, and Angola.

Both the £1.5bn (€2.1bn) UK Environment Agency pension fund, the £31bn Universities superannuation Scheme and the £3.6bn London Pension Fund Authority are reviewing whether to inject money into forestry investments.

European Investment Bank (EIB), the € 26.3bn Ilmarinen Mutual Pension Insurance Company and seven medium-sized Finnish pension funds have all invested in timber via the Dasos Timberland Fund.

Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (Mass PRIM) decided to make a $500 million timber investment just three years after selling a $700 million section of its timber portfolio.

More recently there has been a spate of new timber investment by major asset managers, not least the $1 billion takeover of Canadian timber business TimberWest by two large asset management firms acting on behalf of institutional pension funds.

At the time of writing this report in December 2010, there looms the prospect of a second round of quantitative easing (QE2) by both the US Federal reserve and possibly the Bank of England too.

QE2 should help to shore up the US housing market. Construction accounts for roughly 70% of the total value of timber resources and as the US property market recovers, inflation will rise as houses increase in price once more.

One such asset is timber which has a proven history as an excellent hedge against rising prices.

The US housing market (construction accounts for roughly 70% of the total value of timber resources and QE2 should help to sure up the US housing market. As the US property market recovers, inflation will rise. As house increase in price once more.

Timber as an asset class presents unique characteristics. The performance of forestry assets is driven primarily by the natural growth rate of trees independently from the macro economy. As a tree matures its size and usefulness increases and subsequently so does the price. In a difficult economic climate timber companies have no need to discount their crops because if simply left to grow the value of the asset only increases.

This makes timber much less volatile in the long run and more resilient in difficult times compared to most other commodities as the investment is backed by the underlying real asset value of timber. Timber is recognised as an inflation hedge as trees grow in size, and therefore value each year. If inflation were 3% and your trees grow in size (value) by 5%, you have grown your wealth in real terms ahead of inflation.

As the rate of inflation increases, so to do timber prices, as well as the volume of timber you have to sell. This creates a double-buffer for investors and makes timber investment an ideal balancing tool to diversify portfolios.

There are a number of different opportunities for retails investors to participate in timber investment in various forms. In this section we will focus on direct investment within commercial timber plantations, although the reader should be aware that there are other, market-linked opportunities such as forestry funds and listed timber companies.

The basic premise of all of the investment offerings from various companies that we have researched remains relatively static, in that investors are usually invited to purchase either a lease on a plot of land within a commercial timber plantation, therefore owning cropping rights to any timber produced within their plot or woodlot. An alternative to this is where investors are offered direct ownership of a fixed number of trees.

The cost for plots varies from project to project between £5,000 (GBP) to £22,500 (GBP) depending on the size, location and species of timber being grown.

Sometimes, annual fees are required from the investor to service the costs of on-site management, and of course the occasional thinning that is always required within a commercial plantation.

With other projects, sufficient management fees for the period of time up to the first harvest are paid up-front by the vendor and held in escrow, fees for future harvests are deducted from the revenue of each preceding harvest, therefore creating an investment where no further cash input is required from the investor.

With some projects the land is leased by the forestry company and investors enjoy a sub-lease, with others the land is owned outright by the forestry business and investors have a direct lease and the land held in trust in favour of investors until their lease expires, this mitigates the risk of the forestry business ceasing to trade in the future and the investor left with a sub-lease with a business that no longer exists.

What Is This Blue Lumber?

Sunday night I was sitting around watching the Simpsons, my favorite TV show when I get a call from my dad. He was watching that show Extreme Home Makeover and he notice that they where building the house out of blue lumber. He asked me “Why is this lumber blue?” Confused, I was like “blue lumber?” I asked him did it look blue or was it blue, and he told me it was BLUE, the whole house. Not knowing what he was talking about I did some research, on this blue wood he was talking about, and came across some interesting facts on it.

For Starters the wood is actually called Bluwood. Bluwood is a two part, preconstruction wood protection system. The lumber has a film on it that helps prevent moister from seaping into the wood and also protects against fungus and wood eating insects.

Any lumber can be treated. The film can be applied to any type of lumber from a 2×4 to OSB (Oriented strand board). That means sub floor, trusses and even beams can have this film put on it. It comes to the job site pre treated and can be sawed, nailed, and painted. Since the wood is pretreated it also protects the lumber while it sites outside in the elements while the house is being built unprotected (up to 6 months).

Termites. This lumber uses an Insecticidal and a fungicidal that prevents termites and fungus from attacking the wood and destroying is structural properties. The film attaches to the fibers that the termites like to eat, thus preventing them from eating it.

The system. The first part of the two part system is the vapor barrier. The wood is engulfed in a film that creates a vapor barrier on the wood. This vapor barrier controls the absorption properties of the wood not allowing the it to absorb moisture, but I also allows the wood to breath, letting the moister within it escape. Kind of like a Tyvek Home Wrap. The second part of the system is a proven DOT insecticide and fungicide.

How it works. The two part system is applied to all six sides of the lumber which they call the infusion process. Once the infusion process is over this prevents any moister from absorbing into the wood but allowing moister to escape from the wood. Then over time the “infusion ingredients” continue to migrate below the surface of the wood so in theory the inside of the wood is treated. I never used the wood so I don’t really know. I guess that when you cut the wood it is still protected. Through this process the ingredients bind to the wood at a cellular level

Less cupping splitting and curling. Since the wood has this vapor barrier on it, the film controls the rate at which the moister in the wood escapes. Preventing the wood from cupping, splitting, and/or curling, which we find more often today then before because of the quick milling process. So no more going to a large home improvement store and shifting through a stack of 2×4s to find the 2 that you need that are straight.

Board Governance – 6 Keys to Successful Oversight

Many definitions of Board Governance are broad and theoretical. But when I consult with boards who are interested in improving their ability to govern, I like to use a more practical definition that includes 6 keys to good governance. Additionally, I provide a few examples of actions or evidence that supports each of the six focus areas. This list, with its qualifiers, helps board members learn how to work more effectively with their CEO and staff, and provide proper and thorough oversight to the organizations they lead.

Below are the 6 keys to good board governance – and some examples that will help you implement board governance more effectively.

1. Ensure that the organization is adhering to its mission.

a. There’s a crisp, clear one-sentence mission statement for the organization.

b. All projects that are not within the scope of this mission statement are eliminated.

c. If any potential funding or programs fall outside of the mission, they are discussed thoroughly and need to be approved by the board.

2. Approve and follow a strategy for the organization.

a. Be sure the organization has a strategy (a minimum of 3 years out).

b. Know how the organization is evolving and why.

c. Agree on the key milestones that are expected to be achieved and their due dates.

d. Debate thoroughly all funding, programs, or projects that fall outside of this strategy.

e. Any changes to the strategy require board approval.

3. Maintain a financially sound organization.

a. Establish an annual expense budget and an annual fundraising budget.

b. Ask the CEO to present the actual vs. budget (both expenses and fundraising) at every meeting – at least quarterly.

c. Make sure the entire board understands and votes to approve and accept these reports at each meeting.

d. Create financial policies for the organization (cash handling, rainy-day funds, and investments) and be sure they are followed.

e. Hire an outside auditor annually. Make sure the entire board understands the audit findings and follow-up actions.

4. Approve all policies and be sure they are being followed.

a. These minimum policies are in place: conflict of interest, ethics policy, values statements.

b. These organizational policies need to be approved by the entire board: Financial Policies, Human Resource Policies, Donor Policies, Operations Policies.

5. Inspire and manage the CEO.

a. Set up annual objectives (of accomplishments) for the CEO.

b. Make sure the Chair of the Board reviews the CEO annually. (written and verbal)

c. Insist on training and development for the CEO (and all staff members) each year.

d. Talk about the career path of the CEO each year – make sure you’re on track.

6. Create board sustainability.

a. Create meaningful committees that works closely with the staff and provides both oversight (governance) and organizational support.

b. For each board committee, create a brief, annual action plan for the work that will be achieved by that committee.

c. Know what skills are required on your board.

d. Create an annual system of recruitment and orientation that replaces the skills of the board members whose terms are expiring at the end of each year.

e. Conduct a board self-evaluation annually.

f. Create a strong, supportive team that enjoys working together.

If your board meetings are not focused on the decisions required to govern properly, you should encourage your board to make some changes now. Not only is the board legally responsible to address these key areas of an organization, but it makes sense that the leaders of the organization focus their time and attention on these 6 key issues.

Send this article to your Board Chair today. Sit down and discuss how you can work together to create a board that governs wisely and thoroughly.

How to Prepare a House to Sell

By properly preparing your house to sell you could potentially add thousands of dollars to the end sale price of your house. As well as increasing your profit you will also likely speed up the process of selling your house. Most buyers looking for a house are driven by emotion in their quest to buy a house. Even most investors will buy a property based on the way the feel about the property rather than the actual numbers involved.

With this is mind, selling your house can be a simple, easy process provided that you present your house in the best possible light. There are several factors that will have a large impact on the saleability of your house such as price and general market conditions, but let’s focus on the main areas that you can work on in and around your house that will improve the saleability of your house.

Prepare a House to Sell:

House to Sell Tip # 1: General Clean Up

Outside:

– Wash down the outside of the house

– Wash windows

– Mow lawns

– Pressure clean paths and driveways

– Cut back trees and hedges

Inside:

– Reduce clutter in all rooms (put unnecessary items in the garage)

– Wash down walls and ceiling

– Remove cobwebs

– Wipe dust from shelves and cabinets

– Vacuum/Dry clean carpets

– Clean flooring (tiles, lino, timber etc)

– Clean kitchen cupboards, bench top and splashback

– Clean windows & wash curtains

– Re-organise layout of furniture to a more open-plan

– Clean light fittings and ceiling fans

– Add colourful pot plants in each room

– Allow light to enter each room easily

– Repair any damage to internal walls or ceiling

House to Sell Tip # 2: Cost Effective, Easy Ways to Improve the Outside of Your Home:

– Plant new trees and/or small plants or flowers (add colour)

– Repair & paint fence

– Repaint the property or pressure-clean brick houses

– Repaint guttering

– Repaint window frames

– Repaint carports and garages

– Replace old garden furniture

– Add ‘borders’ to garden beds using rocks etc

– Install a new letterbox

– Create an entertaining area using paving and planter boxes

House to Sell Tip # 3: Cost Effective, Easy Ways to Improve the Inside of Your Home:

– Update light fittings

– Re-polish floors/replace carpet, lino, tiles

– Re-paint walls, ceiling, skirting and architraves

– Replace curtains, blinds etc

– Have pot puree in each room to improve the smell of the house

– Hang new wall prints in each room

– Install a new front door

– Repaint all internal doors

– Replace door handles throughout the house

– Replace furniture (cheap furniture from Ikea can be used to improve the presentation immensely)

Most of the tips listed above can be done even on a modest budget and can be completed in a weekend or two. Even spending $500 can bring you an extra five or ten thousand dollars at sale time. Once you’ve made some small changes, you’ll be amazed at the difference they make!

How to Build a Sustainable Kitchen Design

There is a looming reality taking place in the society today. Increasing concerns on global warming and rising energy prices are on the loose, and so, the concept of high-performance homes and sustainable designs are considered to be urgent issues. The need for more energy-efficient utility and facility designs is inevitable.

A home’s energy and conservation points are located within the house itself. A large part of domestic costs are from maintenance, service, and energy. Reports on energy analysis have shown that homes together with buildings, commercial establishments, and facilities contribute tremendous consumption of resources especially energy, which accounts nearly 40 – 60% of the total consumption. Lighting, refrigeration, plumbing, and fire-fighting facilities represent the largest percentage of structural energy demand. Because of the impact on energy, it is important that efficient facility designs are integrated into a home or building.

These things when left unattended can wreak havoc not only to the structure’s life cycle but more importantly on its operation and maintenance cost. With this, it is not surprising why homeowners do not just entrust facilities design to ordinary contractors. They assign it to the best professionals in town who can weave in all aspects and engineer the whole into a fine working specimen that can breathe efficiently for years to come.

Considering the many parts of a home, the kitchen is considered to be one of the most important sections. This is where the family’s food are being stored, prepared, and cooked.

Hence, it is important to maintain safety and security at all times to ensure harmonious work in the area. Additionally, this is where most of the appliances are located. Hence, among all other parts in the house, the kitchen contributes almost half of the total energy consumption. With this, it is equally important to create a kitchen design that will match the requirements of integrated or sustainable design.

Why Sustainable Design?

Sustainable design, when incorporated within a home or building, triggers high performance and various advantages and keep energy consumption at a minimum. Creating sustainable kitchen design includes putting together “green design strategies” into standard design criteria. With this, you may consider the following areas:

1. Lighting design

Lighting efficiency is an essential factor in developing high-performance in homes. Like HVAC, several factors are necessary to ensure sustainable development in building operations – quality of lighting, aesthetics, energy efficiency, etc.

Designs that provide occupancy or light-level sensors, lighting controls, and dimming systems to determine when lights are illuminated, optimizes lighting needs, and provides homeowners with timed overrides. With advanced lighting designs, modulated lighting levels in proportion to available daylight are possible, which, in the end, saves energy. With this, you can maximize light coming from natural source. You may also use window panels that are specifically designed for optimizing the principles of sustainable development.

2. Materials

Wallpapers, table countertops, wood cabinets, carpet tiles – every material used in your kitchen should be designed according to the current standards of sustainable or green design. In this way, you can be sure that whatever material you use in your kitchen, you can be sure that you do not just provide clean living to your family but you also help protect the environment.

3. Appliances

To match the sustainability of your kitchen, make it a point to use appliances that provides high energy savings and are environmentally friendly. Among all appliances being used in the kitchen, refrigerators are considered to be the most important. This is where you keep and preserve your food.

Temperature control is critical to food safety, shelf-life and quality. However, in most cases temperature control and energy consumption do not go along together. You want to keep food fresh by providing better gauge on the temperature, which will eventually put an impact on your energy consumption. Higher temperature means higher electricity bills. But with a good refrigeration design, you can be sure that you can keep these two factors working harmoniously together.

With increasing requirements for energy efficient facilities in most countries and with the growing environmental awareness, the idea of incorporating sustainable design into your kitchen will not just provide your family a better environment within your home but also offer the community a better place to live.

Golf Swing Tips – How to Hit a Fairway Wood High Or Low For Duffers

With the advent of the hybrid clubs fewer and fewer golfers are playing the 3-wood or 5-wood from the fairway these days. I don’t blame them really; I have a 2-hybrid (16 degrees) that I use for the second shot most times on the par fives. I am usually left with a short pitch for my third shot leaving me a birdie putt. That is all I can ask for on most days.

However, on some days when I am swinging well and the ball carries long I may find myself inside 235 yards for my second. That’s when I begin thinking about pulling out the 3-wood and going for it in two.

The odd thing is that, on my home course, the two par fives on the front side require two different ball flights for this same club. The fourth green is downhill with a small opening in the front where you could run a ball onto the green. The ninth green is elevated and requires a high shot to get it to stop. Same club in my hand but I need two different ball flights depending on the hole.

Have you ever wanted to reach a par five in two? You’ll need courage, confidence and to know how to fly the ball high or low.

Below are the five tips to fairway wood swing and then the adjustments to fly it high or keep it low.

The High Fairway Wood Swing

Place the ball back – Most duffers play the fairway wood too far forward in their stance. This is not a tee shot so you do not want to hit up on the ball. Moving it back will promote the proper angle of approach.

Sweep the ball – The clubhead should pass through the hitting area nearly parallel to the ground. You do not want to take a divot on the shot. The clubhead should just disturb the grass in the impact area.

Use a descending blow – The clubhead should pass through the impact area with just the slightest downward trajectory. This will create the proper backspin on the ball you will need to control the shot.

Weight transfer – The success of this swing is determined largely by the transition. Once the club reaches the top of the backswing, start the downswing by shifting your weight from the back leg to the front leg. That weight transfer is vital for the club to bottom out at the ball.

Swing through the shot – Stay committed to the shot. Swing within yourself to a full finish. Avoid the tendency to over swing or to lift the ball into the air with the club. Make your best balanced swing and take what the swing and club will give you.

Now that you have the swing down, you should take note of the adjustments you will need to make in order to flight the ball either high or low. Generally speaking those adjustments should be to your stance or set up rather than altering your swing. Stance adjustments using the same swing will produce the desired far more often than if you attempt change something in your swing.

The High Fairway Wood Shot

For the high shot adjust your set up from that mentioned above by moving the ball a bit forward and holding your hands lower (closer to the ground) at address. Tilt your spine away from your target placing a bit more weight on the back foot. Swing as outlined above. The set up will add loft to the club and the ball will fly higher and land softer.

The Low Fairway Wood Shot

To play a shot with a lower, creating a more piercing trajectory, just reverse the directions above for creating a high shot. The ball should be positioned a bit farther back similar to where you would play a long iron shot. Lean the shaft forward a bit creating a forward press to de-loft the club. You weight should be more on the front leg. This set up combined with the swing discussed above will keep the ball down for the low running shot.

Don’t dismiss the fairway wood shot too quickly. I know they are among the longer clubs in your bag and are therefore more difficult to hit properly. Under the right conditions this shot could well give you a attempt at eagle with an almost certain birdie. You are a full stroke better off than the alternative lay up strategy.

Let the fairway wood shot save you that lay up shot. Because we all know that every shot counts, except those you don’t have to take.

Exposing The Spirit of Jezebel: 10 Characteristics of The Jezebel Spirit

Who Was Jezebel?

The bible introduces us to Jezebel as the powerful & manipulating wife of King Ahab. Ahab was the king of Israel, but the Bible says Ahab son of Omri did what was evil in the Lord’s sight, even more than any of the kings before him. Ahab also married Jezebel, the daughter of King Ethbaal of the Sidonians, and he began to bow down in worship of Baal (The male deity of power and sexuality).

First, Ahab built a temple and an altar for Baal in Samaria, then Ahab set up an Asherah (The female goddess of fertility, love and war pole). Ahab did more to provoke the anger of the Lord, the God of Israel, than any of the other kings of Israel before him. The worship of Baal and Ashtoreth included temple prostitution where both men and women would do sex acts to raise money for religious activities in the temple.

Jezebel was a Phoenician priestess who saturated Israel with the worship of Baal, Asheroth and other pagan gods. Over 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophetess of Ashtoreth served Jezebel in her abominations of sex practices during the reign of Ahab. The Jezebel spirit is a demonic spirit of perversion, lust, manipulation, mind control, witchcraft and the occult. The Jezebel spirit is a very powerful demonic spirit, but the Lord Jesus can deliver and set us free from this bondage and stronghold by bringing us into truth and light if we truly wish to be free.

The Jezebel Spirit In The Church

Whether we recognize it or not, we see the Spirit of Jezebel operating everyday in our workplaces, our families and sadly enough even in our churches! When I was a young girl growing up in the pentecostal church, I was always told that Jezebel was a woman of the world who wore red dresses, bright red lip stick and who painted her nails red. This was the image of Jezebel that many of us grew up with in our minds and the image that some of us still believe to be true.

Sadly there are so many pastors that are manipulated and controlled by this deadly spirit. The Jezebel spirit hates the prophet and the prophetic voice. She will do anything to discredit and kill the prophet with her murderous spirit. Jezebel is a witch and she uses her witchcraft to control and set up her kingdom within the church.

You will see where this spirit will come in and befriend the pastor and his wife along with others in leadership. It never deals with the people it feels has no significance, other than to use them as her puppets and eunuchs. This spirit operates and moves like a snake and operates with the spirit of python. It will seem to be very friendly. It will charm you with gifts, generous monetary offerings and it will be available for any and everything the leader needs and wants. It is just when she has the trust of leadership and has directed her aim at heart that she strikes and bites spreading her venom.

The Jezebel will always have followers or what she likes to call her children. The children are just as dangerous to the church as she is. She will use these followers to spread the venom throughout the congregation. Lies, confusion, strife, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, competition and hatred are just a few of the manifestations a church will begin to see when a Jezebel spirit is in operation a church. There have been many churches that have split and were totally destroyed by this spirit. Once this spirit has gained control over a church, it takes a tremendous amount of spiritual warfare, prayer and fasting to become free. Here are some characteristics of the Jezebel spirit that can help you to identify the spirit.

10 Characteristics of the Jezebel Spirit:

1. It seeks to gain popularity and favor with people of influential and high positions of leadership.

2. It will seek out other individuals they feel are “weaker” to become followers of them.

3. It is never humble. Whenever this spirit receives praise, it always responds in false humility.

4. It is defensive and combative whenever confronted about anything.

5. It loves to teach and seeks to gain control in every situation.

6. It wants to be seen as the most spiritual and powerful one~typically loves to pray elaborate long prayers

7. It will not submit to authority

8. It loves to pray and impart evil demonic spirits into others especially in the church

9. It hates the voice of the prophet and seeks to control and destroy those who operate in the prophetic.

10. It will never repent!

Walk In Freedom

The Jezebel spirit must be confronted and exposed in order to end the manipulation and rule. If you can recognize any of the characteristics of the Jezebel spirit in your life you can begin by humbling yourself and pray to God for forgiveness. Repent for any ways that you have yielded yourself to be used by the spirit of Jezebel. Begin to walk in the truth of God’s word and the light of Jesus Christ will begin to lead you out of those dark places and your deliverance will begin a new work in you.

How to Install a Steel Door and Frame

A door is a significant feature of the house. It is the only acknowledged entry and exit point of any buildings or houses. That’s why a door should be strong and durable enough to keep away intruders and other unwanted elements that could ruin one’s home and properties.

An example of durable and strong material is the steel. A steel frame and door can be installed in anyone’s house if the owner seeks more security and safety. Here are the basic steps on how to install a steel door and frame.

1. Gather and prepare all the needed materials.

The required materials are the following:

– Kit for steel frame and door

– One and half inches screws

– Two inches screws

– Screw driver

– Wall board and a wall board tape

– Shims

– Plaster skim coating

The necessary tools for the installation are:

– Pry bar

– Drill that has a bit set

– Coping saw

– Eight pieces of nails

– Hammer

2. Remove the existing frame, door and molding.

First, remove the existing door’s molding. Use the pry bar and put it in between the molding and the wall. At the top, pull away gently the molding from the wall until it loose. Do the same at the bottom part and then in the middle part. Keep on doing this until the molding is removed.

Do the same steps in the present doorway. Push out the hinge pins of the hinge and detach the door. Using the screw driver, remove the hinges by unscrewing. In case the frame of the door jam is screwed in position, move the drill in reverse motion and back until the screws are pull out. Detach the frame, sills and jams.

3. Do the wall framing.

Check if the wall that supports the door is structural. If it is, use a pair of 2 inches x 4 inches stock nailed together and placed inside the wall. Detach the stud on each side of the new steel door frame. Replace the studs with metal ones. Directly screw to the existing sill. Use the screws. Do the same to the header wall frame. Put on blocking where the door system requires support.

4. Place the new steel door.

This step requires a helper. With the aid of a companion, put on the door’s bottom to the opening of the door. Tilt up the door to its place. Level it by using the shims and adjust the door until it fits into place. The kit may include interior supports that help the door package remain square. Measure from the intact floor to the sill’s top to get the height. If there is a carpet, do not measure from it.

5. Shim the door.

Use the thin sheet of shims (shingles) to bring the door slowly into plumb. Leverage by maneuvering the shims of each side of the frame and between the metal studs and the frame. Apply the same steps to the header part of the floor and frame. The plumb reader and level slightly change as the metal suds are screwed of the door and frame. Adjustments might be necessary.

6. The frame is screwed.

The kit has two inches screws which should be used in the metal stud and lockset part of the frame. Screw down only halfway to the stud or until its strong enough to give support to the placed package. Alter the shims at the lockset area of the frame and those found in the sill. Alter also the hinge area of the placed frame and door. Level the door by adjusting the shims and the plumb should be easily opened. The screws should be tightened and the frame braces can now be removed.

7. Patch the wall.

Take away the wall boards that were placed on the sides of the doorway. Nail down new wall boards as replacements so that it fits against the steel door frame. Plaster and tape the boards.

Installing a steel frame and door is easy if there is help available and the materials and tools needed are all present. Make sure that the installed door and frame are placed properly so that it would function well and there is no need to repeat the installation.

A Primer On Safe And Healthy Weight Loss

An Overview of Obesity

Contrary to popular belief, an individual who appears fat may not be obese and the opposite is true for people who appear thin. According to an article published by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), fat mass (makes up large percentage of excess weight) can be broken down into gender-specific fat, storage fat, low-reference fat, and essential fat.

Essential fat accounts for only 3% of total body fat and is found in body parts such as the kidneys, tissues of the central nervous system, bone marrow, lungs, liver, heart, spleen, and intestines. Besides essential fat, women tend to have gender-specific fat as well that is usually located around the hips, pelvis, and breasts and averages 12% of total fat mass. On the other hand, storage fat accounts for 12% of total body fat in men and 12%-15% of the same mass in women. The body stores this type of fat in subcutaneous layers and its purpose is to act as a metabolism energy substrate.

The body requires low-reference fat in order to maintain normal/optimal reproductive health functions. Male bodies contain low-reference fat stores of about 5% while female bodies store about 12% of the same type of fat. Take note these figures tend to be higher in adolescents (7% for males and 14% for females). With this in mind, medical experts differ on the total amount of body fat one should maintain to avoid developing medical conditions like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) says adults should strive to maintain body fat within the 10%-32% range. This means that fat is not necessarily bad.

The Basics of Safe Weight Loss

The concept that anchors almost every imaginable weight loss or dieting program is very simple: burning more calories than you eat each day. In spite of such simplicity, many obese/overweight people struggle to shed excess weight and keep it off for extended periods. There are several reasons why people face difficulties losing weight. Firstly, some people attempt to lose as much weight as they can very fast. This approach rarely works as people who try to burn fat fast end up losing water weight instead of fat mass leading to hydration issues. In some cases, individuals lose lean tissue and muscle mass because the body cannot burn large amounts of calories in a short period. Nevertheless, it is possible to lose weight very quickly although it is not advisable to go ahead unless you consult and seek advice from a qualified dietitian or physician. A medical expert may prescribe a low-calorie diet if an obese/overweight individual develops life-threatening weight-related medical conditions. In such a case, one remains under strict medical supervision/observation.

Components of a Good Weight Loss Program

According to NATA, a long-term weight control program must be based on diet, exercise, and hydration. These components determine one’s likelihood/ability to add/lose weight.

• Diet

The general rule of thumb for anyone interested in losing weight is to eat “good” foods and avoid “bad” ones. According to the Harvard Medical School, the Mediterranean diet fits the “good” foods description very well. Proponents of the Mediterranean diet advocate eating cereals and whole grain breads, relatively small amounts of red meat, fruit and vegetable servings several times per day, lean protein such as fish and poultry, consuming wine in moderation, and consuming fats made from seeds, olive oil, or nuts.

A low-glycemic-index diet can also help one reduce excess weight. Such a diet precludes all or most processed foods including white rice and white bread because they raise blood sugar levels. Instead of high-glycemic-foods, you should eat nuts, fruits, vegetables, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and dairy products. Another Harvard Medical School publication states that a low-glycemic-index diet reduces diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases risk.

Include honey in your diet because it boosts the immune system, relieves symptoms of diverse allergies, and has great anti-bacterial properties according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Avoid low-calorie diets because they can cause sudden death, dehydration, ketosis, low basal metabolic rate, irregularities in menstruation, loss of lean tissue, heartbeat irregularities, constipation, kidney infections, fatigue, and diarrhea. It is also worth avoiding detoxification diets because there is no scientific evidence that they work according to the Mayo Clinic.

• Exercise

The other component underpinning effective weight loss is exercise or physical activity of some sort. The ACSM recommends completing 30 minutes of exercise at least five days each week.

However, the ACSM’s guidelines are inadequate if you are obese. To shed weight, perform exercises or physical activities that ramp up your body’s metabolism rate. A good example would be aerobic exercises lasting 30-90 minutes per session. Interval exercises are also good although they do not raise the body’s fat metabolism rate to the same level as aerobics.

The goal of your workouts should be to lose about 1-2 pounds of bodyweight per week. Never exceed weight loss of more than 1.5% of total bodyweight in any given week. If you do so, you may be dehydrating your body or engaging in unhealthy activities. By exercising regularly, you will boost your body’s energy.

• Hydration

Water is a key ingredient without which human life would not exist. As such, you should stay well hydrated at all times. Remember liquids/beverages such as lemonade, soda, tea, coffee, and juice do not quench thirst as well as water.

Moreover, consuming sugar-rich beverages translates to adding excess calories to your diet. Benefits of drinking water include limiting excess calorie intake and making the stomach feel full faster during meals.

How to Install Sheetrock, Drywall, or Plasterboard

Sheetrock is brittle, weak, and easily crumbles… so why is it so widely used for home interiors? Well, there are many reasons sheetrock, or drywall, is the material of choice for many modern homes. Sheetrock is cheap, extremely workable, fire-resistant, and makes a good base for a wallpaper finish. So although it’s not the strongest material in the world, it’s pretty safe to say that the pros outweigh the cons.

Sheetrock, put simply, is just gypsum plaster “wrapped” in thick paper. The tensile strength of the paper is what keeps the otherwise brittle board from cracking too easily. Therefore, by only cutting the paper on one face of the board, you can “crack” it along this line and then flip the board over to cut the other side. Sheetrock boards can in this way be cut into virtually any shape that is needed.

Sheetrock is typically fastened to wall studs using drywall screws of appropriate length – although nails have also been used in the past. For example, 25 millimeter drywall screws are typically used for sheetrock 12 millimeters and under, while 32 millimeter drywall screws would be used for 15 millimeter sheetrock.

With modern pneumatic tools and air compressors, we have the ability to fasten sheetrock boards to walls and ceilings using air-powered screw guns. These work in much the same way as a nail gun does and enable the drywaller to secure boards to ceilings for example, that he otherwise would require the assistance of a prop for – not to mention the monumental speed difference that screw guns introduce.

Sheetrock can be cut with the method I outlined above using only a utility knife, or you have the option of using a circular saw with a vacuum attachment. Of course, it’s not like it’s impossible to cut out sheetrock with methods other than those I listed above, but most professionals will use one or both of these methods. I covered the utility knife method above, so I’ll explain how the circular saw method works.

Circular saws used for cutting sheetrock are usually in the 6 1/2 inch blade diameter category due to not having such high power and blade-depth requirements. Sheetrock is fairly soft and easy to cut, and even a small circular saw will make quick work of it. They differ from normal circular saws in that they have an outlet where dust can be sucked out by a vacuum cleaner hose that is attached to it.

The circular saw is plugged into the vacuum cleaner, which should have power settings such as on, off, or auto. “On” means the vacuum cleaner will be on regardless of whether the saw is on or not. “Off” is off, and “auto” is when it’s synchronized, and turns on and off with the circular saw. Auto is the setting that is usually used when attached to the circular saw.

It goes without saying that the three components – circular saw, vacuum hose, and vacuum cleaner itself – should be bought as a set, or an expert should be consulted so as to ensure all parts fit together and work with one another properly. As you can imagine, cutting sheetrock with a circular saw – sans vacuum attachment – will spray copious amounts of extremely unpleasant and toxic dust into the air.

For those who are contemplating roughing it without the vacuum attachment… don’t do it, it’s not worth it! – Especially if you’re working in enclosed spaces such as a room you’re renovating – which is often the case being that sheetrock is an interior building material. Not to mention it will put a substantial layer of white powder all over the room you’re in creating unnecessary cleanup work.

Final Pointers, Tips, and Tricks for Sheetrock Installation

  • Put a chamfer on all sheetrock board edges forming a joint with another board to ensure good putty joints. All joints will be puttied prior to wallpapering, but putty will simply dry, crack and crumble out of small, skinny joints. Therefore chamfering ensures adequate amounts of putty are applied, creating durable joints. Chamfering can be done simply with a utility knife, or a hand planer that has a V groove cut into the underside of its body.
  • Ensure no screws or nails are protruding from sheetrock surface. This is obviously important because screws will not only be visible as an ugly lump through the finished wallpaper, but has the potential to cause a tear as well. However, sinking them too deeply causes another problem in that they won’t be holding the sheetrock as well. Ideally you would sink the screw-head just past the sheetrock surface without allowing it to punch through the paper completely. This is especially important when doing ceilings! Screws that are sunk too deep lack adequate holding power and cannot be counted on to hold ceiling boards.
  • Sheetrock boards can be stacked up in neat piles and cut from the top down. By setting the blade-depth to just shy of the board thickness you can cut without having to worry about slicing through to the boards underneath. You then simply need to slice the remaining paper with a utility knife and you’re good to go. Also, by cutting with the boards backside-up, you have the option of slicing the paper on the “outside” of the saw-blade kerf. This allows you to intentionally cut the board shy (for fitting ease) yet still make it seem like a snug fit due to the paper concealing any gaps.
  • Having a hand saw handy can be extremely useful when needing to cut many small or intricate notches and/or angles.
  • A rasp can be used to file down high spots when walls aren’t straight. This is a quick and effective approach for small tweaks and adjustments.

Gypsum – Composition and Uses

Gypsum is composed of calcium, sulfate, and water, has a chemical symbol of CA SO4 2H2O. It is an abundant natural mineral, which originated from the drying out of ancient seas and is quarried or mined in many parts of the world. Plants use almost as much calcium as phosphorus.

Until fairly recently, gypsum’s value as a fertilizer was not widely known or appreciated. Thirty years ago, when Dr. Jacob Mittleider taught people to use it as a Pre-Plant fertilizer in high pH or alkaline soils, he was even sometimes ridiculed by fertilizer sellers, who asked if he had “gypped some folks today.”

Gypsum now enjoys an excellent reputation as a fertilizer. It is even used as a ‘clean green’ or organic soil conditioner and fertilizer.

While other calcium sources raise soil pH, gypsum has a substantial advantage for use in high pH or alkaline soils, because of being pH neutral. This is because the sulfur in the compound lowers soil pH.

Gypsum is particularly useful in treating heavy or clay soils, where it is used to improve the soil’s texture, drainage and aeration. It is also used to improve the structure of soil that has been compacted by the traffic of heavy animals or machinery, in the improvement of sub-soils exposed by the removal of topsoil, and in reducing soil salinity caused by dairy waste matter or alkali conditions.

In large-scale farming, gypsum is sometimes applied initially at the rate of 2 tons per acre (depending on soil type), and 1 ton per acre is common as an annual maintenance application.

For the home gardener, gypsum should be used by those with less than 20″ of annual rainfall at the rate of 2 pounds in each 18″ X 30′ soil-bed or Grow-Box – per crop – incorporated into the soil. For shorter beds use 1 ounce per running foot. Those with more than 20″ of annual rainfall should use agricultural or dolomite lime in the same amounts.

Plastering Tips and Techniques For the DIY Plasterer

If you are a beginner to plastering then before starting any plastering job be sure to consider these tips and techniques for proper job preparation.

1. Choose Your Area: If you are a novice plasterer then you might prefer to start in a spare bedroom with an existing poor finish that can only be made better which will greatly reduce the stress on you. Remember, you can plaster skim the walls as many times as you like so you can always go over a not so perfect job later as you get better.

Plastering is largely a matter of confidence and you may prefer to start in a low-pressure environment first before hitting your own walls for the first time. However, don’t worry, providing you have a decent plastering course to follow then you will find that this is not a long learning curve and you will be amazed how good your first results come out.

Remember: 90% of plastering is having the confidence and sticking to what we at Mastering Plastering call the “Golden Formula” to the letter.

2. Ensure A Good Supply of Water: If cleanliness is next to Godliness then plastering is the holy trade! Ask any plasterer and you will be told the same thing, keep your equipment very clean and most importantly clean as you go.

As you will have no doubt noticed, mixed plaster sets very hard and sets quite fast. You might have visions of washing dried plaster off buckets and equipment after you have finished your job or leaving it until tomorrow but trust me, dried plaster sticks like stone and you need to clean thoroughly and continually as you go.

There are reasons for this:

* Plaster cleans off much more easily when wet.

* Plastering equipment will usually need replacing if plaster is not cleaned off with water before it dries and this can get expensive and is wasteful.

* Any flecks of dried plaster in your buckets or on your equipment from previous sessions will later break off to contaminate future batches of plaster. This can spell disaster as these little gremlins will cause streaks or “pulls” in your finish causing you endless frustration and poor results.

* Contamination in new batches of plaster can result in the drying time of plaster being adversely affected as you will learn and this will cause chaos to applying the “Golden Formula” as used by most plasterers.

* Contaminated plaster can’t be used and will need to be disposed of  costing time and money.

* A good tradesman is a tidy one and sloppy processes lead to sloppy work and unhappy customers.

To ensure a clean job you will need a good supply of clean fresh water. This can be a problem on some building sites where there is no running water. Also, because plaster and plasterers can get messy you should avoid using your own or your customer’s kitchen sink where possible. Fill plenty of buckets of water in advance for mixing and cleaning and remember that plaster can block drains so avoid flushing too much plaster slurry down the drains. Dispose of water dirty with plaster down a main outdoor drain not a sink drain (we haven’t yet written Mastering Plumbing!). In particular, always keep your buckets and trowel clean and ensure you only use perfectly clean water for mixing with plaster.  As a rule, if you wouldn’t drink it don’t use it for mixing plaster.

Only ever use clean and very fresh water for mixing plaster.  If you don’t then your plaster will “go off” (i.e. set) to quickly and will need to be discarded. So, as a rule…

* Never use plaster that is going off – plaster is cheap so throw it away and start again.

* Never use plaster that is contaminated with anything.

3. Allow yourself the time to get the job done:

Plastering actually progresses a lot quicker than many people imagine but it still takes time. A large part of your time will be setting up and cleaning away so plastering is not the kind of thing you can spend the odd hour on here and there. You really need at least a half day (3 to 4 hours) at it to make up for the time it takes to mix the plaster, cover and finish your wall or walls and then clean and tidy away. My advice is to allow at least 2 to 3 hours for the plastering (the time required for a typical wall as a beginner) and an hour either way for set up and clean up. So, to give you an idea, yes you can get home from work at night and make some progress on your walls right after your dinner but expect to be washing out your gear at midnight! But hey, its better than watching TV so don’t let me stop you. Better still allow yourself a full weekend to have a chance to get a whole room done as a total beginner.

4.  Make sure that  you have planned the job:

My advice is not to bite off more than you can chew for starters. Plastering is always a race against the clock as I explain in my course when talking about the stages of the Golden Formula and how it works. Therefore, trying to plaster a whole room at once as a beginner (i.e. trying to work on all 4 walls at once) will not be possible and quickly turn what should be a satisfying job into bad experience in which nothing gets done to a good level.

I’d suggest as a beginner starting with just 1 surface at a time and feel free to leave the larger walls until last. All plasterers know in advance exactly what they intend to achieve that day and plan accordingly. Always avoid biting off more than you can chew because if you do you will quickly choke!

Make sure that before you start you have gone through the equipment checklist and have enough plaster for the job as once you begin plastering and are working through the Golden Formula you will not have enough time to leave the job long enough to nip out for more materials.

And finally, one more word of warning:

Always turn off your mains power when plastering anywhere near any electrical socket, switch, light fitting or appliance. Mixed plaster is mainly water based and as I’m sure you know, mixing water and electricity is a potentially lethal combination. If in doubt always seek the advice of a qualified electrician and building surveyor before starting any plastering work.

Gas Welding – Old School and Obsolete, Or Still Good?

Gas Welding went out with high button shoes. That is what lots of folks think. To be honest, I am one of them. I like tig welding better. It’s cleaner, its more precise, its faster, and it can weld almost anything.

So why are people still interested in gas welding?  The honest answer is because it works, and it is really good for a few things. Some old school airplane builders argue that oxyfuel welding is superior to tig welding for 4130 chromoly tubing airplane fuselages.

The argument goes like this. Because 4130 chromoly hardens if it cools too quickly, some people think that oxyfuel welding alloys the chromoly to cool slowly enough to prevent hard and brittle welds.  But lots of tests have been done and it has been proven that chromoly tubing that is not thicker than .120″ can be tig welded without any ill effects.  That being the case, I always choose tig welding over oxfuel welding a thousand to one.

Some people also argue that gas welding does a better job on oil soaked aluminum castings. I have welded lots of oil soaked aluminum castings with Tig. It is a problem sometimes, but by cleaning, preheating and a little finesse, it always works.

I have not seen one thing that could be welded better with gas welding than with tig. Not one thing. Steel automotive parts, stainless steel food service equipment, nickel alloy heating elements, aluminum cylinder heads, magnesium gearboxes, titanium tubing, cobalt alloy jet engine parts…you name it, it can be welded cleaner, better, faster, and better with a tig welder.

Oxy-acetylene welding is still good in a pinch for welding 4130 chromoly fuselage parts when a tig welding machine is not available or for welding a muffler or exhaust pipe on a car, or for soldering or brazing anything from a bicycle frame to an aluminum boat.  It’s portable, relatively inexpensive, and it works ok.

But lets face it…Tig welding is better.

Screw The Nut

If we didn’t have problems we wouldn’t be people. People have problems. No-one is immune: Even Life Coaches have problems! The genius Dr. Maxwell Maltz commented that our lives are a combination of victories and defeats, hopes and disappointments, peaks and valleys, ups and downs. In the final analysis, the business of living requires us to rise in the face of defeat. This is the point of life. Our greatest lessons will invariably come from our losses in life versus from our successes.

A problem incubates as an inkling (something’s not right with this table tonight), then it develops into a nagging message (that rattle could be a screw loose somewhere), then it grows into a problem (this is becoming one unstable table), and then the unthinkable happens: that inkling which was confirmed by a message and turned into a problem… is now a crisis (I don’t believe it – the dining room table’s just collapsed!).

Let’s break this one down: A stitch in time saves nine. If you aren’t familiar with this phrase, it is an old English saying that employs people to deal with problems upfront not allowing them to compound and fester only getting worse. I can hear my mother urging me to do the job correctly the first time. I’m still not sure how she was able to know which part of the task I was “slacking” on from the other end of the house, but she always seemed to know.

The other part of this lesson was obvious yet very subtle and indirect: take pride in the work that you produce, never cut corners, always strive for doing the best you can possibly do. She would say, “If you have done your very best and only you will ever know that, then I will always be proud of you and your effort will likely be good enough.”

Problems reveal themselves in a plethora of ways and you can save yourself energy and even time by responding to problems when they are no more than inklings. When you get the hint, address it head-on. If the table’s askew, look underneath. If your car’s been spluttering, lift the hood. If you have a feeling that things aren’t right with your spouse or one of your children, lift the lid and talk: conversation clears problems.

A problem shared, is a problem halved but a problem solved quickly, may be a crisis averted. Screw the nut. And relax.

What Is a Locking Wheel Nut Remover?

If you have a car then you probably know that the rim of that wheel is fixed onto the threaded bolt shafts by something called a locking wheel nut. This is able to maintain its lock on the shaft of the wheel by means of a nylon thread insert that lines the nut’s centre hole. If you need to change a wheel on your car then you may find that you need to remove this nut, however this can be difficult if the insert is worn or stripped.

It is not a good idea to try using a wrench, as some people advise, to attempt to remove it from the threaded bolt shaft. If you lose your grip, you could end up damaging the wheel’s rim. The most straightforward way of loosening and removing a stuck lug nut is to use a locking wheel nut remover to get it off. This needs to be fitted onto your socket wrench and then that is fitted over the nut. The way in which most of these are made means that you need to exert some force to fit it on.

As soon as you manage to grasp the nut with the wheel nut remover, you should turn it clockwise, which will tighten its hold. When you tighten the nut before attempting to remove it, it is sometimes possible to push the nylon thread so that it is again lined up with the nut’s threads. After it has been turned in a clockwise direction, it then needs to be turned the opposite way. These turns are designed to loosen the hold that the nut has on the bolt shaft, making it easier for you to remove.

Although the above method of removing a stripped wheel nut is the most straightforward, it doesn’t always work and you may have to try other methods. You may need to fit your locking wheel nut remover onto your wrench in the same way, but instead of putting it over the nut; you put it to one side. Leave the wrench where it is and set up your butane or blow torch. By applying some gentle heat it is possible to burn the nylon thread. As soon as you detect the aroma of burning nylon, switch off the blow torch and then pick up the wrench again.

Once you have burned the thread, using the wrench you can push the tool onto the nut and then turn it in an anticlockwise direction. Turning it in this way should loosen its hold on the threaded bolt shaft, allowing you to remove it. Again, this method of removal is not always successful and you may need to resort to cutting off the nut by hand. This last method could be avoided by using one of the better locking wheel nut removers on the market today.

As you can see it is not always a simple process, even with the correct tool. Rather than risk damaging your tyre, wheel rim or the lug nuts themselves, you are probably better off taking your car to a professional to remove the wheel safely and without incident.